IRB U-21 World Cup: 9th-10th Play-Off: Saturday, June 25Ireland U-21 34 Samoa U-21 17, Marista RC, MendozaScorers: Ireland U-21: Tries: Stuart Philpott 2, Mark Kettyle, Stephen Ferris; Con: Gareth Steenson; Pens: Steenson 4Samoa U-21: Tries: Anthony Tuimaga, Mikaele Pesamino 2; Con: Brian Toa Thetadig
McDermott's charges secured a four-try success - their second win over the Islanders at the tournament - to guarantee ninth place and a pleasing finish to a the 12-team event.
South Africa U-21 emerged as the Cup winners as they held off a second half charge from Australia U-21 to triumph 24-20 in the final.
The Irish, who finished runners-up to New Zealand twelve months ago, ran out 34-17 winners over the Islanders thanks to tries from Philpott (2), full-back Mark Kettyle and number 8 Stephen Ferris.
Captain and fly-half Gareth Steenson kicked four penalties and a conversion for a 14-point haul at Mendoza's Marista rugby club.
Another solid display with the boot from Steenson saw the Dungannon number 10 take the title of World Cup top points scorer for the second year running. Steenson's five-game tally of 76 points saw him head South Africa's Morne Steyn by just three points.
Philpott barged over from a 16th-minute maul to open the scoring in the 9th-10th place play-off.
Anthony Tuimaga replied almost instantly with a try of his own for Samoa but Belfast Harlequins full-back Kettyle's try in first half injury-time pushed the Irish 13-5 in front.
Philpott then grabbed his second touchdown on 46 minutes from another lineout maul, and Ferris made certain of the victory with a try on the hour mark, after a fine high catch by Kettyle.
Coach McDermott said afterwards: "I think the players really enjoyed this last game of the tournament. We played much better than in our pool game against Samoa. We wanted to win the last two games and we achieved that."
A pleased Steenson, one of only two squad members who lined out at last year's tournament in Scotland, added: "It was a very hard game. In the first half we had plenty of the ball but we didn't use it well enough. In the second half we used the space better and made sure of the win. We leave happy as it's been a great experience for all of us."
(15) Mark Kettyle (Belfast Harlequins)(14) Ross McCarron (UCD) (13) Andrew Trimble (Ballymena)(12) Greg Stafford (Lansdowne) (11) Paul McKenzie (Belfast Harlequins)(10) Gareth Steenson (Dungannon) (Captain)
Replacements used: Joseph Merrigan (Corinthians) for Philpott (55 mins), Anthony Kavanagh (Garryowen) for Ferris (60), Jonathon Sexton (St Mary's College)) for Stafford, Ronan Loughney (Galwegians) for Andress (both 74), Alex Dunlop (Terenure College RFC) for Noonan (80(+1)). Not used: Gerry Hurley (Garryowen), Paul Hurley (UCC).
Coach: Mark McDermottAssistant Coach: Niall MaloneManager: David Haslett
SAMOA U-21: Timoteo Iosua; Fautua Otto, Ekeroma Sefo, Brian Toa Thetadig, Gasolo Salima; Rambo Tavana (Capt), Gafa Siona; Sonny Faata, Andrew Viliamu, Kolli Mafileo, Julius Tafunai, Fale Solomona, Stephen Sasagi, Sue Mikaele, Anthony Tuimaga.
Replacements: James Lowrey for Solomona (32 mins-ht), Jake Grey for Faata (38), Lowrey for Tafunai (53), Mikaele Pesamino for Salima (66), John Lemisio for Tuimaga (69), Asomaliu Faamoe for Viliamu (70), Anesi Seiuli for Sefo, Martini Fuamatu for Mikaele (both 80).
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Saturday's Other Results: Argentina U-21 39 Scotland U-21 7; England U-21 57 Wales U-21 32; Canada U-21 33 Italy U-21 30; New Zealand U-21 47 France U-21 21; Final: South Africa U-21 24 Australia U-21 20
Final Standings: 1. South Africa, 2. Australia, 3. New Zealand, 4. France, 5. Argentina, 6. Scotland, 7. England, 8. Wales, 9. Ireland, 10. Samoa, 11. Canada, 12. Italy.